Which trends have topped China’s online retail market so far in 2021?

China’s National Bureau of Statistics has released data highlighting the key trends within the online retail sector in the first half of the year.

Online retail sales reached 6.11 trillion RMB ($946 million), a year-on-year increase of 23.2%. Over the last two years, growth has averaged at 15.0%.

Consumers are becoming more health-conscious which is reflected in the growing sales of sports equipment and kit. Swimming, football, and yoga-related products increased by 128.9%, 106.2%, and 55.1% respectively.

The popularity of ‘new guochao‘ has increased, literally meaning ‘national wave’, the trends refers to support for homegrown brands and those that highlight Chinese culture and heritage. During China’s 618 shopping festival in June, domestic brands accounted for more than 70% of sales on e-commerce platforms.

Consumption of online services has continued to recover from the effect of the pandemic. Catering sales increased by 48.2% year-on-year, while online travel sales grew by 71.6%.

Cross-border e-commerce is also picking up. The import and export volume of cross-border e-commerce in the first half of the year reached 886.7 billion RMB ($137 billion), a year-on-year increase of 28.6%. Among them, exports contributed 603.6 billion RMB, up 44.1%; and imports brought in 283.1 billion RMB, an increase of 4.6%. Japan, the United States, and South Korea were the three most popular countries for e-commerce imported goods.

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